US Senate passes Harvey aid package, extends debt limit

Deal on permanently removing debt ceiling also being pursued 

US Senate passes Harvey aid package, extends debt limit

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed a sweeping deal that will keep the government running and provide much-needed aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey.

In 80-17 vote, it approved a $15.25 billion hurricane aid package as well as a short-term bill extending government funding and an increase in federal borrowing to prevent a shutdown. 

The move comes a day after the House of Representatives approved $7.9 billion in aid for Harvey victims. 

With Hurricane Irma heading towards Florida and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) running out of funds, President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill. 

The Senate vote comes on the heels of a deal between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders who agreed Wednesday to raise the debt ceiling for another three months.

The bill now heads to the House, where voting is expected Friday.

With the federal government's funding expiring Oct. 1, the Treasury Department had urged Congress to raise the debt limit before the end of this month. 

Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer have also reportedly agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that Congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling. 

"There are lots of good reasons to do that…For many years, people have been talking about getting rid of the debt ceiling altogether," Trump told a reporter, according to The Washington Post. 

Republican leaders on Wednesday insisted on an 18-month extension of the debt ceiling, but Trump sided with the Democrats in a surprise move.

Last Mod: 08 Eylül 2017, 11:20
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